Photo: Kioku Keizo

Slave Genealogy (coin) 奴隷系図(貨幣による)

KIKUHATA Mokuma 菊畑 茂久馬

This work is from the period when Kikuhata was a member of the "Kyushu-ha" group. Because of its unique form of expression, this is a representative work of the artist as well as of the "Anti-Art" movement in contemporary Japanese art around 1960. It presents pair of logs with the male and female symbols placed like objects of worship. Five-yen coins cover one of them like the scales of a dragon. The two logs shine like gold in the spotlight, with candles enhancing the ritualistic atmosphere. This work was originally exhibited at the exhibition "Experiments in Contemporary Art" held at The National Museum of Modern Art in 1961. When the artist counted the five-yen coins after the exhibition, he found that there was more than the original 100,000 yen in them. There were even some ten-yen coins that had been "offered." In purposely choosing the motif from old Japan for a work of contemporary art to be exhibited in Tokyo, the work can be considered a requiem for the traditions gradually lost in Japan, where the economy, already starting to boom with the approaching Olympic Games, was taking the central place. The present piece was recreated for the show "The Trends of Japanese Art in the 1960s" held at Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum.rnrnrn
Collection of
Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo
Slave Genealogy (coin)
Artist Name
Material / Technique
Cloth, five yen coins, candles, logs, etc.
Acquisition date
Accession number

Other items of Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo (7398)